Abell 2142 Galaxy Cluster   HOME INDEX BACK NEXT

Galaxy Cluster in Coma Berenices

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This galaxy group is very far away--about 1.2 billion light years--and it is the most distant galaxy cluster that I have ever imaged. Despite the distance, the shapes of the individual galaxies can be discerned: some are round, some are elliptical, and some have the classic spiral shape.

Abell 2142 actually consists of two separate galaxy clusters that are intermixing. They contain several hundred galaxies, plus supposedly enough gas to make 1000 additional galaxies. Abell 2142 is one of the most massive known objects in the universe.

Roll over the image to see the locations of over 150 galaxies that are listed in the Principal Galaxies Catalog (PGC). The galaxies can be seen better in this larger image. Inspection of this larger image shows that there are many more galaxies in the field besides those listed in the PGC.

The two largest and brightest galaxies in the center of this image have magnitudes of 16.1 and 17.4, making them too dim to be seen through the eyepiece with even very large amateur telescopes. This galaxy cluster is a suitable target for astrophotography, but not for visual observation.

Magnitude of brightest galaxy 16.1
Distance (light yrs) 1.2 billion
Right Ascension 15:58.3
Declination +27 13
Field of View 29' x 22'

Image details:  Exposure times of 110 minutes luminance, and 15 minutes each of red, green, and blue, taken with an SBIG ST-8300M imager and a 14" Meade LX850 telescope at f/6.

June 2017